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Sony Corporation, Tokyo

ICF - 7600

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überarbeitet am 30.10.2010

The Sony ICF-7600 apearing in the year 1978 was a big step in the design of miniature travel shortwave radios. Until the late seventies, someone interested in buying a travel multiband radio expected a large and heavy portable receiver with many knobs and long antennas - the pocketbook sized ICF-7600 had a completely different design: the most popular shortwave bands, mediumwaves and the FM band are spread over a vertical analog dial. This offered only mediocre dial accuracy, but was much better then all the 5 mm bars with the indication "49 m band" found on the commonly used domestic radios. You could really expect to hear the major international shortwave boradcasters everywhere in the world, on the mountain tops, during desert trips and on the beach.
The receiver design of these analog portable shortwave radio has been copied by different manufacturers - Sony was the inventor of the "face" of most shortwave travel sets produced worldwide after 1980. It was not before 1980, Panasonic and Grundig with it's small Yacht Boy receivers produced competing sets.

ICF - 7600 Japan Version, FM range 76 - 108 MHz
ICF - 7600 W International Version with FM range 88 - 108 MHz meeting the frequency restrictions of German FTZ.
Single Conversion Superhet,

Analog dial, five spread shortwave bands (75 / 49 / 31 / 25 / 19 m)

AM, FM-UKW

Selectivity -6 dB/ -60 dB
6,1 kHz/ 17 kHz

Sensitivity
AM 6 - 7 uV

The Sony ICF-7600 was the first portable multiband shortwave radio with the typical layout later found on very many shortwave portables. The set is 120 x 80 x 35 mm wide and has a weight of 500 g, the size of a murder mistery pocketbook which easily fits in a coatpocket.

The left part of the receiver front is taken by the quite flat speaker. Most of the right half is taken by the dial window with it's vertical frequency dials of the spread 75, 49, 31, 25 and 19 m shortwave bands, the dials for mediumwaves and the FM broadcast band are printed on the cabinet. In the original ICF-7600, the FM broadcast band extends from 76 to 108 MHz, in contrast to the variant ICF-7600W sold in Europe, which only covers the 88 - 108 MHz range used in Europe and omits the frequencies above 76 MHz used for FM broadcasts in Japan.
Below the dials, You find the sliding switch to select one of the shortwave bands and three pushbuttons, which act as bandswitches for SW, MW and FM, a tiny little pushbutton with a red mark is used to turn off the receiver. This arrangement is found in many later Sony analog shortwave radios as well as in a large number of travel radios from other manufacturers, even the cheap littel multiband radio "Made in China" from the drugstore has a similar operation scheme as the Sony ICF-7600.
Between the speaker and the frequency dials, You find the sliding controls for volume and the tone switch.
The tuning knob at the receiver's right small face is rotated without backlash, within the broadcast bands, the frequency accuracy of the ICF-7600 is around 25 kHz.

At the left small face of the radio, You find a 6V DC jack to connect the external power supply and jacks for earphones and a cassette recorder, the battery compartment is found at the back, the ICF-7600 needs three UM-3 batteries.

Operating the ICF-7600 is absolutely easy: press the SW button to switch the radio on and to select the shortwave range, then use the sliding switch to select the desired shortwave band, position number 2 stands for the 49 m band. On the bandspread dial, 8 mm correspond to 50 kHz, so You can "guess" a frequency within 10 kHz, in the 19 m band, it's 8 mm for 100 kHz, so the dial resolution is about 20 kHz. When the radio was, this was much better then everything found on the dials of domestic radios. A frequency accuracy of 5 kHz or better could only be found on (semi)professional grade tabletop radios and some high grade portable receivers with a turret tuner arrangement like the Sony CRF-5090, the Grundig Satellit receivers or some Nordmende Galaxy sets.
The single conversion design can cause mirrors from utility stations in the broadcast bands, the dynamic range is not superb - but Sony did demonstrate what degree of miniaturisation of a single conversion superhet was possible in the late seventies, and did a very good job, in contrast to much later efforts of some far east manufacturers with very poor results.
I consider the ICF-7600 or it's variant ICF-7600W sold in Europe as collector's items; on the used market, double conversion receivers with PLL synthesis are sometimes sold for a little amount of money.

weitere Lektüre:
d: Sony ICF-7600W, Kurzwellenempfänger, Qual der Wahl, Rainer Lichte

© Martin Bösch 20.5.2005